I hope the Lowepro rep doesn't bristle up too much at that headine...but it is true - there is a style of Lowepro bag that has slipped under the radar over the last few years - and entirely undeservedly. I'm speaking about the Nova series of bags - they've been on sale for as long as I have worked for Camera Electronic and go back a long way before that.
I'm a fan of the Nova bag because I have owned two since the mid 1990's. I traipsed Europe with one and sent the daughter off on adventures with the other and they are still doing duty as camera carriers right now - despite what time has done. The secret of their success has been the shape, padding and shoulder strap - Lowepro got it right the first time, and while there are some eight bags of this name in their current range, they all have the same design origin.
The basic way to think about a Nova is a bread box - a padded bread box. There's room inside for a DSLR and several lenses, or a flash, or a couple of mirror-less bodies. It does not encourage you to haul a blacksmith's anvil and every lens you own - and in doing this it means that the wide shoulder pad does not dig into you. My Nova travelled for a month and a half with a Nikon F3
, three lenses, and a flash and did not kill me in the process.
The padding around the tub means that you can bump through a crowd without camera damage and the large upper flap is zipped against moisture ingress. I daresay it also prevented pickpocket ingress as well. In any event, you can tie the zips shut as well.
Modern evocations of the design add memory card flaps and phone pockets. If you are really going to be drenched you can fish around underneath it and come out with an elasticized rain cover - but if you are smart enough to come in out of the rain it is even better.
The business of forgetting about something that works this well is just human nature - we get distracted by the glamour of the new and look to re-invent designs every season. Lowepro is as prolific in doing this as any modern firm. But stop a little and remember the success of a basic design - and see if you would like to get something that you can use for absolutely decades